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When giving walking directions, which one(s) of the below structures would sound most natural to your native English speaker ears?

  • Keep walking all the way down the hallway, then make a left (actually, do we use down or up here? assuming that it's just a flat surface.)

  • Keep walking all the way (up? down? or none?) to the end of the hallway, then make a left

  • keep walking till you get to (can we use reach instead?) the end of the hallway, then make a left?

Also,

  1. Would it still sound natural if we replaced all "then s" with "and then", or even "and"?

  1. Can we replace all "keep walking s" with just "walk"? Would it still sound natural? What id we replace them with "go"?

  1. What's your preferred way of saying this?

Thank you!

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  • Too many questions in one post. Could you separate them? Mar 29, 2017 at 18:05
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    IMO, 'up and down' are relative to the situation. It could be based on what the group decides -- the room numbers could go from a lower to a higher number, or perhaps the group knows which way is north and uses that direction for up. However, in person, the person answering would point. "Go to the end of the hall, and turn left. Go to the end of that hall, turn left. The office you want is (through) the last door on the left ." @SovereignSun
    – WRX
    Mar 29, 2017 at 22:28
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    I had upvoted Willow's comment about it's all relative and as Stew C says, they're all correct, but I am generally more used to saying, "Walk down the hallway." Mar 30, 2017 at 10:04
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    @SovereignSun, "go" is fine, too. I had just meant I'm more used to using "down" myself, instead of "up," but as Willow and Stew C mention, it's all relative and they could all be correct. Mar 30, 2017 at 11:12
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    General comment: Native speakers often give horrible, verbose, and even useless instructions in perfectly natural, idiomatic English.
    – Deolater
    Mar 30, 2017 at 15:13

2 Answers 2

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All of your ideas sound natural, except for the use of "and then", which is a bit awkward here. Which version you choose is a matter of style and who your audience is. Here is another example:

"Go to the end of the hallway. Turn left. Go halfway down another hallway to a door on your left. That's the room."

Short Version: "End of the hallway, turn left, halfway down that hallway, and it's the door on your left."

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    The connector "and then" sounds perfectly natural to me (England/Scotland). Mar 13, 2018 at 8:33
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I'm not a native speaker but I'd certainly prefer short commands:

  • To get to the shop, go to the end of street, turn left, then right, walk two miles, turn right again. There you are!

With your example:

  • Go to the end of the hallway and turn left.

Or a simple direction.

  • Our office is at the end of the hallway, last door on the left.
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  • What I would like to know is how to explain the location if there is another passage way at the end of hallway and it leads to the left, and the office is through the last door on the left. Mar 29, 2017 at 18:51
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    I would add a comma between "shop" and "go" in your first sentence. And I would say, "The shop will be on your right/in front of you/on your left, etc." "There you are!" sounds like a direct translation of French's "Voila!" Mar 30, 2017 at 10:00
  • Hmmm, speaking, I feel like we would naturally want to take a pause, but grammar rules are generally more lax when it comes to speaking. Meanwhile, written, I would almost always add the comma as (missed) grammar rules are a little more conspicuous when written down. But I do know I'm a bit of a stickler for these things at times, so really, it's almost always up to the person making the sentence :). Mar 30, 2017 at 10:10
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    Yes, I would say that the phrase exists, but not usually in this context. It's usually more metaphoric like, "You've got it!" Or it could be like, "I see you! You've finally arrived!" Mar 30, 2017 at 10:18

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